All Time Favorites

The songs on this mixtape are what I consider to be my all time favorites- songs I have loved for as long as I've known them, and songs that I will most likely continue to love all my life

You may notice that there are more older songs than newer on here. This is because it can take a while for me to know something is an all time favorite- I have to see evidence that I come back to that song often, or still love it later in life. This is why the list might contain more classic rock than you'd expect. My dad has been playing classic rock around me since I was born, so at this point I have almost 23 years of knowing those songs and loving them!

The order of this mixtape is also significant. Rather than being organized from most to least favorite, release date, or even the first time I heard them, the songs here are organized by when I realized how much I liked them. This means that some older songs come later in the playlist, either because I heard them for the first time later, or because it wasn't until then that I realized how much I like them.

Norwegian Wood - The Beatles

In terms of realizing how much I liked a song, this one serves as more of a stand-in for liking The Beatles. I love knowing that it's the music my parents have known pretty much their whole lives. I also remember in high school that someone told me this song is about lesbians- when I listened closer I realized they were only sort of wrong. I think the idea is that a guy goes over to a girl's place, hoping to score, but she doesn't want to sleep with him. He assumes she must be a lesbian, then burns her furniture in revenge (if your lost just listen to the lyrics, trust me.) Since that reading of it sucks, I prefer to imagine it's from the perspective of a girl who is interested in another girl. The other girl is totally a lesbian, but is teasing the narrator by not admiting it. The next day she acts out by burning the girl's furiture cuase she doesn't know what to do with her feelings!

Line 'em Up - James Taylor

It was very hard for me to pick one James Taylor song, as both of my parents really enjoy his music and passed that on to me. This song being in this position in the mixtape is another representation of realizing I liked the artist in general- before now I hadn't particularly though of which of his songs is my favorite. Now I know it's definitely this one. The lyrics were always a bit confusing to me becuase when I was little my dad explained that the first verse was about Nixon's impeachment. I thought he meant the whole song was about that, and it wasn't until now that I looked them up and discovered that the song references several world events as well as events in James Taylor's personal life. I really enjoy this as I love media that references specific periods in history and how an individual or group was feeling about the world then.

Suddenly I See - KT Tunstall

I want to say my mom got a KT Tunstal CD from Starbucks? I think at one point they did something to promote up and coming music artists, but I'm not entirely sure now. Anyways, the CD lived in her car, and for a long time we would listen to it every morning when she drove me to elementary school. This song was my favorite on the album, and I remember discussing the meaning of the lyrics with my mom and feeling super smart that we figured it out.

Mary Jane's Last Dance - Tom Petty

My dad has been playing this song my whole life, not just on a stereo or through an aux cord, but with his own band as well. It wasn't until more recently that I realized how much I like Tom Petty in general, but this song in particular has been a very strong favorite for a long time. I've never really done karaoke, but if someone forced me to I think I would pick this song because of how well I know the lyrics.

Stay - Lisa Loeb

I think the reason this song has stuck with me for so long is because it was the first time I ever related to lyrics on a deeper level- specifically "you say I only hear what I want to/I don't pay attention/I don't understand if you really care/I'm only hearing negative." For a kid with inatentave adhd, that felt exactly like what my parents were constantly telling me.

House of the Rising Sun - The Animals

A quick glance at wikipedia while I was putting this mixtape together reminded me that this is actually an uncredited traditional folk song, and that The Animals just happen to have recorded the most popular version of it. I have always loved singing this song, and found it pretty easy despite the fact that there's some pretty vocally intense stuff going on in this recording. It seems like those to facts line up well, as you might expect a traditional song to be easily adapted for all voices!

Breezeblocks - Alt-j

This song came out when I was in middle school and really developing my own music taste for the first time. It's stuck with me because it's simply a really damn good song.

Ghost of Corporate Future - Regina Spektor

Discovering Regina Spektor was one of the greatest things ever, because I had originally heard her song Fidelity and really liked it, but never been able to find it again. The only reason I was able to actually find her music was because this girl I had a big confused gay crush on in middle school posted about her music on social media, and of course I had to look her up because of that. Realizing she was the singer of a song I had been hunting for for ages was so so cool. I really like the cute-clever style of her songwriting and I think this song is a prime example of that!

Brian Wilson - Barenaked Ladies

My dad was pretty into Barenaked Ladies when I was young, and I definitely got a kick out of them because what little kid doesn't think a group of adult men calling themselves naked ladies is funny? Since then I've continued to listen to their music every once in a while, and this song is probably the one I most consistently want to hear.

Come On Petunia - The Blow

This is the first song by The Blow that I ever found, and it happened to be on a lesbian-themed 8tracks mix. Guess one advantage of being gay is that you find really awesome music. It was pretty hard to choose just one song by The Blow to go on this list, but when I pulled them up on spotify and immediately gravitated towards this one, I knew it belonged here.

Sugar, We're Going Down - Fall Out Boy

I actually learned about Fall Out Boy way later in life than a lot of folks my age, so when everyone was listening to Save Rock and Roll, I was catching up on the old stuff. And boy does the old stuff fucking slap. Which is not to say that their newer stuff doesn't. It's just that this song feels like the first warmer day after a long winter, wearing over ear headphones, and being unpopular in high school but not caring.

Dance, Dance - Fall Out Boy

I'm not even that big of a Fall Out Boy fan, but I'm breaking my unspoken rule of only having one song for each artist on this list because god this song is good, but I couldn't bare to pick it over Sugar. It feels frantic and fun and Patrick Stump has such a nice crisp clear voice.

Car Radio - Twenty One Pilots

I actually don't listen to 21p at all anymore, but as a young high schooler I absolutely loved them. I became a fan right before Blurryface came out, which was such an excelent time to like them because their fan base was growing and they were very present in media. Because of my past love for them, I knew one of their songs would make this list. I know this one is the most mainstream and obvious, but it's special because it was the first of their songs I had ever heard, and at that time it felt extremely powerful and genre defying and relatable.

Debaser - Pixies

If I had to pick one single favorite song of all time, this would definitely be it. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to pinpoint what it is- the driving bassline, the fast paced drum beat, the iconic guitar riffs, the way "debaser" is yelled out perfectly over all of it? The whole thing rocks. Fun fact, the song suposedly refers to a silent film by Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí called "Un Chien Andalou." The film is said to have been a criticism of the Avant Garde movement and intended to anger its viewers with its nonsensical nature, but this backfired when it recieved a positive response. Similarly, Frank Black of Pixies has stated that Debaser is intended to be a meaningless.

I Like Giants - Kimya Dawson

This song might be on here simply because I introduced it to my mom and she really loves it, which makes me feel surprisingly proud? I enjoy almost anything by Kimya Dawson, but I love this one in particular because of the ideas she shares about an individual's place in the world and how our tiny-ness in comparison to the universe can be comforting instead of scary.

The Chain - Fleetwood Mac

This song. THIS SONG. Fleetwood Mac is so good in general, but this song has the most incredible build perhaps in all of music history. It feels like something big is going to happen. And the payoff with the bass at the end. Whatever the musical version of a chefs kiss is, this song deserves it.

Tom Sawyer - Rush

My dad has always been a huge fan of Rush, but I distinctly remember being high school aged when he put this on in the car and I fell in love with it. I had definitely heard it before, but I know that was The Moment I realized how much I was into it. There was always going to have to be a Rush song on this playlist, and it was almost Fly By Night as I really enjoyed that one as a child, but I think Tom Sawyer has to be the all-time as I actually listen to it fairly often.

I Don't Smoke - Mitski

I think I may have listened to Mitski before she was cool? I discovered this song in high school and the harsher guitar with soft vocals made me love it almost immediately. I also remember singing along to it in the car a lot when I got my liscense.

Buddy Holly - Weezer

This is actually the only song that comes anywhere near Debaser in terms of "top favorite." I discovered Weezer in early high school (once again, late to the party) and ever since then I have gotten this song majorly stuck in my head at least once a month.

Bonfire - Childish Gambino

This one is kind of unexpected for me. Its not that I don't like rap, I just don't actively seek it out as I don't know what it is I like in a rap artist. To be honest I don't even remember how I found this song! But I think what I enjoy is the intensity of it all. Also, the concept behind the music video is really interesting, so you should check that out too if you have a chance.

Hazy Shade of Winter - The Bangles

It was actually the first season of Stranger Things that reminded me how awesome this song is. It comes in at the end of the second episode and the first guitar riff hits just as the sceene blacks out and it's fucking perfect. I love love love a song with a quiet start and a sudden break into a faster/louder melody. It feels very cinematic and I think thats why hearing it in a show made it click for me.

Hold The Line - Toto

Everyone thinks Africa is Toto's best song and they're absolutely wrong because it's actually this one.

I Love You Like an Alcoholic - The Taxpayers

I want to say I discovered this song in late high school or early college? Either way I think the lyrics are incredibly clever, and I love when artists have scratchy, whiny, growly, or otherwise "imperfect" voices.

Fly Again - Turnstile

The first time I heard this album I was in my friends basement, and a couple of other friends were taking turns picking music. I fell super in love with the album after that, and this quickly became my favorite song. Also completely unrelated, but inextricably linked with Turnstile in my mind is this Louis Cole video that my friends showed me that night and I absolutely need everyone to see because it's so cool.

Trigger of Love - JAWNY

This song is a pretty special exception to my usual understanding that songs I become hyperfixated on don't actually end up being all time favorites. I swear I would listen to this for hours straight the summer I worked as a delivery driver. I even looked up the lyrics and actively tried to learn them so that I could sing along. And after all that, the fact that I can still listen to it like three times in a row on any given day tells me that it is indeed an all time fave.

Blow My Brains Out - Tikkle Me

This song is a more recent find for me, but it makes the list because the lyrics really struck a chord with me. I've always been an overthinker, someone who's biggest strength and biggest weakness are both that I'm super introspective. I'm also a chronic overexplainer and tend to get caught up in making sure everyone knows exactly what I mean at all times at any cost which feels very much like the line "sometimes the truth is just my point of view, not what is real and not what is true."